Mana protesting against better state houses

April 24th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Protesters egged Prime Minister John Key’s ministerial BMW as it collected him from a state housing development in Napier this afternoon.

Mr Key was unhurt in the incident but one man was later arrested for obstruction.

The incident happened about midday in Maraenui as Mr Key concluded a visit to a new state housing development.

Earlier, about 10 protesters, some clutching Mana Party banners, greeted the prime minister and challenged him about child poverty and enabling synthetic cannabis to be sold.

They shouted: “One, two, three, four, stop the war on the poor,” and “Maraenui under attack, stand up, fight back”.

So what awful thing was the PM doing in Maraenui that Mana supporters think is an attack on the poor? Stuff has details:

Key appeared slightly miffed that protesters heckled him as he officially opened a new housing development aimed at improving the city’s poorest suburb.

Despite the crowds chanting ”Stop the war on the poor”, Key was impressed with the units saying they were nothing like the state house he grew up in, he told residents.

”The protesters, interestingly enough are protesting for us to do the very thing we’re doing. So they probably should have come in and congratulated us instead of yelled at us.”

Five families have already moved in to the Maraenui development which consists of seven two-bedroom single-storey units, centred around a central communal courtyard.

Crete Pinkham felt “lucky” to be living to be living in a warm, dry home.

”There’s no mould! I lived in mould all these years. We’d clean it up and it would grow back.”

So Mana is against low income families being moved into new warm, dry homes. No surprise I guess, as they are now aligned with the multi-millionairre who allegedly pays below minimum wage to his staff.

Over the last six years, the Government had been working to improve the run-down Housing New Zealand stock, Key said.

Large, uninsulated properties were being knocked down for smaller, warmer units.

”Cold damp homes are no place for New Zealanders. We want to put them in the six star properties we have here.”

Key admitted there was still a lot of work to do, including attracting more social housing providers into the market.

What an awful uncaring Government that is at war with the poor. Thank God we have Hone and Kim to lead us to a better place.


Dotcom invited to Mana AGM

April 7th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

In a statement this evening, Harawira confirmed talks with Dotcom in central Auckland over the weekend to discuss possibilities “for a relationship between the Mana movement and the Internet Party”.

He said the Mana executive had extended an invitation to Dotcom to address its AGM on Saturday,.

Dotcom had accepted the invitation in order to “talk to and understand the views of Mana members” Harawira said.

Oh this is too funny to be true. Hone can’t wait to sell out.

So will any Mana member have the courage to get up and berate Dotcom over the low wages he pays his staff (allegedly below minimum wage).

Will any Mana member say how disgraceful a look it is for him to fly into Huka Lodge in a helicopter to relax for the weekend, while scores of struggling Kiwi businesses had been waiting over two years to be paid by him?

Or will they just ask him how much money they can have for their election campaign?

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Dotcom and Mein Kampf

March 27th, 2014 at 7:39 am by David Farrar

3 News reports:

Internet millionaire and alleged cyber-pirate Kim Dotcom has admitted owning one of the rarest pieces of Nazi memorabilia in existence.

On the eve of the launch of his Internet Party, Dotcom has confirmed he purchased one of the first copies of Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, signed by the man who went on to establish the Third Reich.

It is one thing to read Mein Kampf. It is widely available. But to buy a rare first edition personally signed by Hitler is incredibly suspect, and very bad taste when done by someone of German nationality. To do a comparison, could you imagine a Cambodian buying an signed copy of the memoirs of Pol Pot?

“Let me make absolutely clear – I’m not buying into the Nazi ideology,” says Dotcom. “I’m totally against what the Nazis did. I did buy a cigar holder off Churchill and a pen off Stalin.”

There’s a big difference between a pen and the book which was used at motivation for genocide of around six million Jews.

Whale Oil has more details:

On May 21 2011 Alex Mardikian sat down for breakfast with Kim Dotcom in Spain. …

Dotcom asked what Mardikian thought about the fact he now owned a book written by “the greatest German who has ever lived”.

This is an on the record statement from Mr Mardikian. I am sure it is denied, but then you have to judge the motives of the two parties. What reason would Mardikian have to invent such a quote? Not hard to think of the reason you would deny it.

But there is more:

Further investigations by WOBH have revealed that not only does Kim Dotcom own a signed and autographed copy of Mein Kampf, one of the rarest copies on the market, but he also possesses other Nazi memorabilia.

One item is a Nazi flag, that until recently was displayed in the cellar of his mansion at Coatesville.

This presumably can be substantiated also. It either was or was displayed.

The flag was given to him on his birthday in 2011 by one of his guests at his birthday party.

At the time of the birthday and the gift Kim Dotcom exclaimed to all in attendance that this was “the best present he had ever been given”.

He profusely thanked the guest repeating over and over how happy he was to have received the flag. Again his closest confidantes remonstrated with Dotcom over the flag and he shrugged off the criticism by claiming it was all a big joke.

There were lots of guests at that party I assume, so again should be easy to verify if this is correct or not.

WOBH can confirm that the flag is still in the possession of Dotcom because in the days after the raids two staff were tidying up ahead of the arrival of John Campbell and his cameras. They were going to tour the mansion for a soft piece on the aftermath of the raid.

Those two staff thought, rightly, that the flag wouldn’t look good on television and so folded it up and put it away for safe keeping in some boxes also stored in the cellar.

One former staff member spoken to by WOBH (who wishes to remain anonymous due to ongoing threats from Dotcom) in our ongoing investigations of the REAL secret life of Kim Dotcom has told us that regularly, at dinner, Nazi salutes would be made and Nazi chants like “Heil Hitler”  and “Sieg Heil” were made, especially if the guests were mainly German.

The former staff member is unnamed, and again it is he said vs he said but what is the chance that both Mr Mardikian and the former staff member are both making it up, especially when combined with the fact that Dotcom did buy a signed copy of Mein Kampf and did keep and display a Nazi flag given to him?

Will this be enough to scare Hone Hawarira off the Dotcom Party? I don’t think so. The only demand Mana have made of Dotcom is that he agree to vote to get rid of National if they get MPs in Parliament. Of course the aim of the party is to get rid of National, as they want a sycophantic Government to replace them that will decline Dotcom’s extradition if the  courts find the extradition order is valid. So I am sure the Dotcom Party will in turn soon declare they are committed to getting rid of National, and then we’ll see how much control Hone has over Mana and can he get them to agree to an effective merger.

UPDATE: Tim Fookes at Newstalk ZB writes:

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to own war memorabilia , nothing at all, a lot of people would have war medals and the likes.

But in my opinion, there’s something quite despicable about wanting to own items belonging to the enemy, and in this case one of the most revolting excuses for a human being ever to walk on this earth, Adolf Hitler.

There’s something abhorrent about having a desire to own something as offensive to so many people, as Mein Kampf, and not only own it, but get a signed copy.

It speaks volumes about Kim Dotcom, or let’s quit calling him that, let’s call him by his real name Kim Schmitz.

Because he is German and appears in stark contrast to most Germans I’ve ever met who are ashamed beyond words about the behaviour of Hitler and his supporter. …

It may not just be that, there are reports circulating that he owns a Nazi flag and other memorabilia too, which poses the prospect that he could be a Nazi sympathiser.

With the launch today of the Internet Party, I’d hope New Zealanders will turn their back on Kim Dotcom in our droves and tell him ‘we don’t want you here, you are offensive’.

I hope that will happen, sadly though, I think he’ll get naive supporters who thinks what he’s doing is shaking the system, sticking the finger to the government, there will be that fringe element of support he’ll get.

You may say I’m overreacting, but I cannot believe he has the nerve to sit there smirking away as he admits he owns that book.

The apologists for Dotcom on this one will end up embarrassed, as more comes out.

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The defence of the Mana Dotcom deal

March 25th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Jevan Goulter is Hone Harawira’s press secretary. He has facebooked:

Ok so we would be helping a fat white rich prick with a bunch of money, but it would obviously help MANA to! I’m not picking a side, just wanna be clear! The parties would not merge, we would share a list, and guaranteed MANA would have the top spots to start! If we did it, the difference could be 2 or 3 MANA MPs, and we remain our own party! It’s not all doom and gloom ! Could be the difference of having say John Minto and Te Hamua Shane Nikora in the House! Didn’t mention Annette Sykes cause she will already be there  Doesn’t sound that bad when you look at it like that aye?

His commenters are less keen:

  •  I have a lot of respect for Hone and the Mana Party. That would vanish instantly if this loony idea came to fruition. It’s also not really keeping within the spirit of MMP.
  • Mana will come off as looking very desperate. Sad really.
  • You have got to be kidding!
  • It sounds bad to me.
  • Dont do it… please hes another john keys but worse… hmble your guys self and partner up wif maori you go to dotcom im out sori bt ur party would b his bitch seen it to many times.. better to lose honourably than to win disgracefully

Will Hone listen to the activists or his chief blogging advisor?

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The Dotcom Mana alliance

March 23rd, 2014 at 6:31 am by David Farrar

Jonathan Milne writes in the HoS:

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom claims he has signed up one sitting MP to join his new party before the election and is talking to three more – a poaching raid unprecedented in New Zealand politics.

He refuses to disclose the identity of the MP, saying it will be revealed once the Internet Party is registered and has chosen all its candidates, probably in June.

His revelation came in an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday yesterday.

Dotcom said he was also in talks with Mana Party leader Hone Harawira to unite their two parties under one umbrella, enabling the Internet Party to ride into Parliament on the coat-tails of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate MP.

The two leaders and their party bosses, Vikram Kumar and Gerard Hehir, met on February 28 at a house on Auckland’s North Shore.

The Mana Party executive will this week consider a merger proposal. Mana would bring one or two electorates, the Internet Party would bring a more broadly-based party vote and $1 million-plus in campaign funding.

This is almost hilarious. Dotcom is a multi-millionaire who used to donate to John Banks, who allegedly pays his staff below the minimum wage, and has refused to pay dozens of struggling small businesses the money owed to them for work on his mansion. He would normally be the antithesis of everything the Mana Party claims to stand for. But then he effectively offers them a million dollars and rather than picket him for being an abusive employer (look at how many staff have quit under bad circumstances), they’re going to merge with him!!!

The lure of a million dollars campaign fund is too much to say no to, and all they have to do in return is to make sure that a future Government rules out extraditing Dotcom if a NZ court finds he should be extradited.

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Race based housing

June 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira wants to offer Maori first-time homebuyers no-deposit, low-interest loans but admits he doesn’t know how much the programme would cost.

So do I have this right?

If you have a Maori great great grand parent you can get a no deposit, low-interest loan, but if you don’t you are not eligible?


And of course it is not costed. That would require someone to actually do some work, rather than just open the mouth.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Mana policy would cost more than $3 billion a year and put New Zealand “seriously in the red”.

The Mana policy is outlined here:

  • Only Maori first home owners would be able to apply
  • There would be no deposit
  • Interest rates would be no higher than the rates government pays on money it borrows
  • Applicants can either build new or buy an existing property
  • Applicants will be able to negotiate mortgage arrangements that suit their circumstances


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The manufactured inquiry report

June 17th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The report of the Labour/Greens/NZ First/Mana inquiry into manufacturing is here.

The best comment in the report was on page 24:

Manufacturing Strategy: submitters made it plain that there was little interest on their part in further “talkfests” about the future of manufacturing in New Zealand, or about the need for a “Manufacturing Strategy”, requiring further extended discussion

Which is ironic, as that is what the entire inquiry has been – a massive talkfest.

What is most hilarious is the major recommendations for macro-economic policy:

  • a fairer and less volatile exchange rate through reforms to monetary policy
  • refocusing capital investment into the productive economy, rather than housing speculation;
  • and lowering structural costs in the economy, such as electricity prices

How amazing. By total coincidence the major macro-economic recommendations happen to be the pre-existing policy of Labour et al. They didn’t even have to think up any new policies.

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The latest poll of Maori voters

February 4th, 2013 at 4:24 pm by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curiablog the results of the latest Te Karere Digipoll.

I read a column over the weekend about how the Maori Party was basically dead and they should accept Hone Harawira’s generous offer to let him become leader and merge with the Mana Party. With that in mind it is worth looking at what the results for each party.


33.5% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll up 3.5% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) down 13.1%.

On the electorate vote, Labour are 8.9% below what they got in the 2011 election.

Maori Party

27.5% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll up 2.7% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) up 7.7%.

On the electorate vote, Maori Party are 4.8% above what they got in the 2011 election.

Mana Party

5.7% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll down 5.3% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) up 0.2%.

On the electorate vote, Maori Party are 1.2% below what they got in the 2011 election.

David Shearer

They asked those Maori voters who said they would party vote Labour if they could name the Labour Party Leader. Only 34.7% could name David Shearer as Leader.

Of the 34.7% who could name him, they asked if they thought he was providing good leadership on Maori issues. Only 28.0% agreed.


Labour has gained some support on the party vote from Maori on the Maori roll, but on the electorate vote they are polling well below what they got even in 2011. Also they have had a drop off in support from Maori on the general roll.

The Maori Party has increased party vote support with Maori on both the general and Maori rolls, and are polling higher in the electorate vote than they got in 2011.

The Mana Party has almost halved its party vote support from Maori on the Maori roll, and has also dropped in electorate vote support from 2011.

Two elements of caution. Maori voters tend to be harder to poll than non-Maori, so there is a greater chance of sampling errors which can impact accuracy. Also tensions around the Maori Party leadership occurred during the polling period and may not be fully reflected.

However even with those cautionary notes, I would say that those writing off the Maori Party are incredibly premature.  The poll shows they have retained and grown support, while Labour and Mana have stagnated or dropped.

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March 10th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Mana Party is investigating the case of a former regional branch chairman who admitted to having sex with a teenage boy in return for cash, cigarettes, clothing and a mobile phone top-up.

Nicholas Kayne Nitro appeared in the Christchurch District Court last month on a charge of receiving commercial sexual services from a person aged 16.

Party sources last night confirmed that Nicholas Nitro was the same person as Nikora Nitro, who is still listed on the Mana Party website as Christchurch branch chairman.

Contacted by the Weekend Herald last night, a spokesman said the party had been unaware of Nitro’s offending and would start an investigation immediately.

He said Nitro had not been an office holder in the party since the end of last year’s election campaign.

All parties have activists who get in trouble with the law from time to time. Little one can do to stop that. However once it is known they are facing charges, it is usual to have them stand down. As Mr Nitro is still listed on the Mana website, it is hard to know whether or not he was stood down.

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Not much mana in this

February 5th, 2012 at 1:22 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key and fellow politicians were verbally abused by protesters during ugly scenes at Waitangi this morning.

Protester Wi Popata heckled prominent Maori MPs at Te Tii Marae, calling Dr Pita Sharples, Te Ururoa Flavell and Hekia Parata “John Key’s niggers.”

Wi Popata is Hone Harawira’s nephew, and was convicted of assaulting John Key in 2009.

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Mana Party

November 30th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

MPs in

None new

MPs out

None out



Harawira retained his seat of Te Tai Tokerau, but only received 43% of the candidate vote, which is far from an overwhelming mandate. Hone will be pleased that Kelvin Davis is out of Parliament, as a Davis candidacy in 2014 on the back of three years in the shadow cabinet could have been formidable.

Mana had hopes for Sykes in Waiariki but Te Uroroa Flavell retained his seat with a majority twice as large as Hone’s in te Tai Tokerau.

On the party vote, Mana needed around 1.2% to gain a second seat, but got 1.0%. 5,000 more party votes would have been enough.

If you look at the seven Maori seats, Mana got 13% of the party vote and 21% of the electorate votes. This suggests a significant failure to attract widespread support from Maoridom. 71% of their total party vote support was from the seven Maori seats, and 29% from the 63 general seats which is an average 92 votes per seat.


Being a sole MP in Parliament can be very lonely. You get one primary question during question time every month, and your press releases are competing with 120 others.

Setting up a new party motivates supporters and activists, as does the election. The challenge now is relevance. What will Mana argue that Labour and the Greens will not? The re-election of a National-led Government pretty much settles the foreshore and seabed issue.

The pending retirements of Sharples and Turia may provide opportunities for Mana with those seats, but one would have to think Labour are more likely to win them, based on the 2011 results.


Marae Investigates – Marae Digipoll 2 October 2011

September 30th, 2011 at 12:14 am by Kokila Patel


10-11am this Sunday, 2nd October on TV

What impact has the arrival of the Mana Party had on Maori voters?

That’s one of the questions raised in a new Digipoll to be released on TV ONE’s Marae Investigates this Sunday.

With the General Election eight weeks away, the results provide a fascinating insight into how support for the Maori and Labour parties has been affected by the Mana Party.

Marae Investigates also has an exclusive interview with the whanau of Maori Wallaby, Quade Cooper.
Quade’s Brisbane based mum, Ruhia Jones gives a candid view of her son’s rise to fame and her unconditional support for him in the face of Kiwi animosity.

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The difference between Maori and Mana parties

July 11th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Yvette pointed this out:

Sharples or Brash “You once again bring the Maori people’s aspirations into contempt and ridicule. Your views are not only inaccurate and ill-founded, but are totally out of tune with middle New Zealand’s ideals and aspirations for our country.”

Harawira on Brash “Your attempts to boost Act in the polls by riding on the xenophobic fears of Joe Bloggs in the street will not work this time round.”

I thought that was a great contrast. The Maori Party believe the “average” New Zealander shares their aspirations for Maori, while the Mana Party believes the average New Zealander is racist.

I think that difference in world view goes to the heart of why Hone left the Maori Party.

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No Maori-Mana deal

July 11th, 2011 at 9:03 am by David Farrar

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

The Maori Party has rejected a proposed deal by the newly-formed Mana Party not to stand against each other in the Maori electorates at this year’s general election. …

The issue was discussed by the Maori Party’s national council in Huntly at the weekend. It later issued a statement saying “no deal”.

President Pem Bird said there was a strong message from the party’s membership that it should remain loyal to the people of Tai Tokerau by continuing to build its presence in the electorate.

“We had a large contingent from Te Tai Tokerau with us at the hui… Our brothers and sisters of Te Tai Tokerau led us to an emphatic conclusion that we would not sacrifice their seat for what might be seen as political opportunism and expediency.

“Basically the message we received loud and clear, was no deal.”

A principled but naive decision. Labour’s chances of winning Te Tai Tonga and Tamaki Makauru off the Maori Party have to be improved if the Mana Party stands in those seats.

There is a risk that the Maori Party could be reduced to two seats after the election.

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Mana Maori?

July 1st, 2011 at 8:03 pm by David Farrar

In my Herald column I look at the Mana and Maori parties and conclude that the sensible thing for the Maori Party is to find a way to work with the Mana Party, as united they will be stronger than fighting each other.

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Mana Party flunks Treaty 101

June 24th, 2011 at 10:10 am by David Farrar

The Mana Party announced its first official policy this week, the Treaty of Waitangi Policy. It said:

Remove the 2014 deadline for lodging historical claims with the Waitangi Tribunal to better enable iwi with such claims to properly research and state their cases.

The only trouble with this policy is the deadline is not 2014, but was 2008. S6A of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 states:

… after 1 September 2008 no Maori may submit a claim to the Tribunal that is, or includes, a historical Treaty claim

So Mana’s presumably most important policy, is wrong on the most critical of details. That is just appalling.

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Is it the Mana or Marxist party?

May 17th, 2011 at 9:54 am by David Farrar

With John Hart, a committed Marxist, looming to be a candidate, and with all the Mana Party policies focused on non-Maori issues such as promoting compulsory union membership, I wonder whether the party would be more accurately named the Marxist Party.

Once they register and publish a party list, it will be interesting to see what proportion of their top candidates are Marxists (or Maoists).


Harawira’s status

May 13th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira may have to return to Parliament as an independent if he wins the by-election in his electorate, because his new Mana Party has only just applied to be registered.

He announced his resignation on Wednesday, to be effective from May 20, and is walking a fine line to get his party registered in time to qualify for extra parliamentary funding and to be recognised as a party leader in the House. Registration takes six to eight weeks and Mana lodged its application at 5pm yesterday. The by-election is set for June 25.

The more important date is actually Tues 31 May, when nominations close.

However things could get murky. If the Mana Party is not registered by 31 May, he can not be a candidate for it. But he arguably could still list Mana Party on the ballot paper as an unregisterd party or affiliations, just like a candidate can label themselves “Communist League” even though that is not a registered party.

Now if Harawira is allowed to list Mana Party on the ballot paper as an unregistered affiliation, then I doubt that will qualify as being elected as an MP for that party – even if the Mana Party does get registered between 31 May and 25 June.

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Four hours of heckling

May 9th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young at NZ Herald reports:

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia was sickened by what she called “psychological abuse” meted out to her and others by MP Hone Harawira’s mother and sister at a hui yesterday.

Mrs Turia said the entire meeting, at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae, was disrupted from 10am to 2pm.

“It was just terrible. It was the whole hui. It wasn’t just two minutes. It was shouting, abusing, swearing, singing loud over the top of people.”

She said Mr Harawira’s mother, Titewhai, “kept shouting at me that I was a liar … bloody liar … snakes”.

“Nobody could shut them up. They just shouted and denigrated people the whole way through the hui.”

Mrs Harawira and daughter Hinewhare also tried to intimidate people by saying they had written down ethe names of those present.

These tactics might backfire on the Mana Party. This could well send some voters who were considering voting for Harawira (if there is a by-election) to instead vote for Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

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Pagani on should Labour stand?

May 4th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

John Pagani looks at whether Labour should stand in the by-election. One of his reasons againgst is:

Even if Labour wins, we just get a re-run of the unhelpful list issues that followed Darren Hughes’ resignation. Kelvin Davis would have to be the candidate. He is absolutely top drawer as a candidate and MP and he will walk all over Hone. He speaks directly to Maori aspiration for better opportunity for their kids. So Mana won;t be able to attack Kelvin. Instead, opponents will run a ‘vote Kelvin get Mahara, or Dave Hereora, or even Lesley Soper’ line. They’re all nice people, but they don’t have a constituency in Te Tai Tokerau. 

There is a simple solution to this issue – not fill the list vacancy if Kelvin Davis wins the by-election. Under s136 of the Electoral Act the House by 75% majority can resolve not to fill the list vacancy as it is within six months of the election. I doubt anyone would disagree that it would be silly to bring someone in on the list for less than 20 sitting days.

Another option would be that Kelvin Davis simply doesn’t resign as a List MP. He wouldn’t get two salaries or two votes, but it would mean no list vacancy is triggered.

Balanced against all that though is a pretty big consideration: Labour would probably win, and in doing so it would knock Mana out of politics.

Labour and the Greens can’t afford to bleed a lazy one or two per cent to Mana, and both have an interest in minimising endless attacks from the tiny, but voluble, left. Taking out Mana in the by-election fixes an irritant.

Second, campaigns lift  morale and therefore increase the total contributions the party can call on. 

Managed the right way, total campaign energy is not a limited resource to be carefully apportioned between campaigns; If you do well in one hard fought campaign, then you inspire more enthusiasm. More people turn out everywhere to help. Enthusiasm is not a given, but in well-run campaigns this always happens. After all, fighting election campaigns is what political parties do. 

 So if Labour backs itself to do a good organisational job, then the campaign could be  worthwhile despite the potential cost.

Despite that, though, I think they’ll decide it’s best to stick to the main game.
Kelvin Davis is one of Labour’s future stars, and as Pagani says could do very well in the by-election. And if they don’t knock Mana out, then they face having John Minto sitting as an MP on their side of the house.
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Greens v Mana

May 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has attacked Hone Harawira’s new Mana Party as a throwback to the last century.

Mr Harawira launched his new party in Auckland at the weekend but other parties have quickly distanced themselves from it, with both Labour and National ruling out a working relationship.

Mr Harawira, independent since he quit the Maori Party, has given his proxy vote to the Greens.

At his party launch on Saturday, former Green MPs Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos spoke in support of the Mana Party. Ms Bradford could run as a candidate.

Dr Norman said “there might be a few votes” for the new party, but “maybe not a lot”. “I mean, who wants to relive the battles of the 1980s and 1990s? We’re in 2011 for God’s sake. We need a progressive force that actually deals with where we are now, not tries to refight the 1980s and 1990s.

I am not surprised that Dr Norman has swiped at the Mana Party. You look at the hard left policies they advocate, and it is pretty clear you are not going to get any National voters defecting to Mana. Hard to imagine the Phil Goff led Labour Party will lose too many votes either. The two biggest potential sources of votes are the Greens and the Maori Party.

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What a waste of $500,000

May 1st, 2011 at 8:47 am by David Farrar

In an act of pure ego, Hone Harawira is forcing taxpayers to pay for a by-election that will probably be held in July – less than three months before the House dissolves for the election.

The NZ Herald reports:

“I want to recall the $36 million being wasted on a bloody yacht race in San Francisco and spend it instead on heating in the poorer suburbs of Christchurch,” Harawira said.

I agree on not funding the America’s Cup bid but sadly the last Labour Government signed a contract forcusing us to do so. However we do have a choice over whether to have an un-necessary by-election, and the $500,000 wasted could also be used heating homes in Christchurch or even in Northland.

Parliament can only resolve not to have a by-election if the resignation occurs within six months of Parliament automatiically dissolving (22 May) or the announced election date (26 May).

If Helen Clark was still in power, I seuspect she’d be tempted to retrospectively amend the Electoral Act so that the six month period is extended to seven months. Then Hone would be out of Parliament and unable to use taxpayer funding to set up his new party.

The $500,000 costs may be on the light side. As this is a Maori seat, they will need many more polling places than in a general seat by-election.

What really peeves me about this also, is that the new Mana Party is obviously totally backed by the UNITE union – the very same union that doesn’t even pay its taxes – in fact has collected PAYE tax off its staff and failed to pay it to the Government as legally obliged. So they are campaigning on how people should pay more tax, and they don’t even pay tax themselves.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia – currently in Russia for a conference – said she did not know if the party was standing a candidate in the byelection.

But she did much the same as Harawira before the 2005 election: quitting Labour and resigning her Te Tai Hauauru electorate to renew her mandate in a byelection.

Not quite the same at all. Turia resigned in May 2004 – well over a year before the September 2005 election.

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Mana Party policies

April 29th, 2011 at 3:33 pm by David Farrar

Mike Treen of the UNITE union has outlined some policies for the Mana Party. They include:

  • Abolish GST and replace with the Social Credit Financial Transactions Tax
  • Nationalise all monopolies and duopolies
  • Effectively bring back compulsory union membership

I’m not sure if they also plan to declare war on South Korea.

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